The Archer Center Spotlight: June 2017
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News and Highlights

Texas National Security Network awards five Archer Center National Security Fellowships

The Texas National Security Network at The University of Texas System awarded $10,000 scholarships to five Archer Fellows participating in the 2017 Graduate Program in Public Policy at the Archer Center in Washington, D.C.

These inaugural Archer Center National Security Fellows represent The University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The Texas National Security Network unites the expertise and resources of the fourteen institutions that comprise UT System, with the goal of creating the premier university system in the country for national security work. The Network operates research and education programs, including the Archer Center National Security Fellows program. 

The Archer Center National Security Fellows are graduate students from UT institutions who are accepted into the Archer Center's summer 2017 Graduate Program in Public Policy and secure a national security-related internship in the Washington, D.C.-area. These Fellows receive a $10,000 fellowship designed to cover the Archer Center's program fee for the Graduate Program in Public Policy, housing, transportation and other living expenses for the summer. They were competitively selected based on their academic record, statement of purpose, references, and the alignment of their academic and professional goals with the broader purposes of the National Security Fellowship

The 2017 Texas National Security Fellows are: 

Marlene Campos (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is pursuing a master’s degree in international political economy with a concentration in development at UT Dallas. She also earned her bachelor’s degree in international political economy with a minor in Spanish/Hispanic area studies from UT Dallas. Her goal is to develop long-term policies to foster sustainable country development and improve global welfare.
Claire Miller (U.S. Representative Will Hurd) is pursuing a master’s degree in the Engineering Management program at the Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin. She graduated from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and is a commissioned reserve officer in the Coast Guard. Her academic and policy interests center on emerging gaps in communication interfaces and outlining cyber security policy responsibilities.

Jolie Schafer [U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR)] is pursuing a doctorate in immunology at UT MD Anderson Cancer Center. Her research focuses on using immune cells called “natural killer” cells to develop possible treatments for leukemia. In her internship, Schafer is working on research about pandemic threats, bioterrorism and preparedness and response to such threats. She holds a bachelor’s degree in both biology and biochemistry molecular biology from Houston Baptist University.

Allison (Allie) Swatek (National Defense University) is pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin. Her specific policy interests include transitional economies and the impact of political and economic changes on national security. Swatek graduated from New York University with a bachelor’s degree in political history.

Joaquin Villegas (New America Foundation, International Security Program) is currently pursuing a master’s degree in public health at UTHealth. He was born in Mexico and began his education at the South Texas High School for Health Professions in Mercedes, Texas. He has a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, and graduated from the McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. In his internship, Villegas’ tasks include working with researchers to study the impact of social media on war and politics.
Pictures (L-R): Jolie Schafer
Marlene Campos, Claire Miller
Allie Swatek, Joaquin Villegas

Graduate Archer Fellows Meet Policy Makers

Guests for the Graduate Program in Public Policy's policy roundtables in July included Senior Judge Royce Lamberth (U.S. District Court of District of Columbia), Randa Famy (former U.S. Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy; CEO, Fahmy Hudome International), Dan Byer (VP for policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute), Dr. Marilyn Harris (Archer Center Advisory Board Member and former VP, Governmental and International Relations, Marathon Oil Corporation), Diedra Henry-Spires (former clerk, Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus; CEO, Dalton-Daley Group), Lindsay Fryer (VP, Penn Hill Group; former staff, Sen. Lamar Alexander), Amanda Beaumont (deputy education policy director, Sen. Patty Murray), and William Jackson (Civilian Director, Air Force Operations Group). 

Health policy fellows met with Dr. Peter Curran (Medical Director, Home Based Primary Care, Veterans Health Administration; Assistant Clinical Professor, George Washington University School of Medicine), Dr. Brian Harvey (former VP for U.S. Regulatory Strategy, Pfizer; former director of FDA Division of Gastroenterology Products), and Dr. Colleen Leners (director of policy, American Association of Colleges of Nursing; retired Army veteran, Bronze Star). Fellows from UT Southwestern also met with their representative, U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (pictured below).
Fellows studying policy and planning met with Nancy Skinkle (Assistant Director for Planning) and Kristin Michael (Master Planner) in the office of the Architect of the Capitol to learn more about the Architect’s work in managing the U.S. Capitol.  Additionally, the Graduate Fellows studying education policy met with Stephen Parker (Legislative Director, Education and Workforce Committee at the National Governors Association) to discuss the intersection of federal and state education policymaking.

The Republic of Texas Legation in D.C.

The Summer Policy Roundtable Series concludes this week with a presentation entitled, “The Republic of Texas Legation in Washington City 1836-1845,” by Sarah Langford Hardy (President) and Kitty Mellen Hoeck (Historian) with the Daughters of the Republic of Texas (Elisabet Ney Chapter Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland). Hardy and Hoeck will share research that shows that one of the Texas Legation offices was located in the same block of Pennsylvania Avenue as our present-day Archer Center.

Archer Fellow Alumni Launch the Texas School Directory

Earlier this year, five UT Austin Educational Policy and Planning Ph.D. students, including four Archer Fellow Alumni from the Graduate Program in Public Policy, launched The Texas School Directory. This month, the project was picked up for fiscal sponsorship through the Austin Community Foundation. Project Director, Anthony Vincent LeClair (Summer 2015) and co-founders Emily K. Germain, Eliza Epstein (Summer 2017), Andrene Castro (Summer 2016) and Wesley Edwards (Summer 2016) recognized the wealth of data collected by the state of Texas and the federal government on schools and education is housed across multiple agencies, often within hard to navigate, highly inaccessible data portals. 

The Texas School Directory was developed to serve as an intuitively navigable, comprehensive online repository for school and district level data in order to provide Texas families, policy makers, and researchers access to the data they need to make the most informed decisions for Texas students. Further, Texas policy makers will, for the first time, have education data specific to their district, as the Texas School Directory aggregates education data for each member of the Texas State Senate and House districts, and each Texas member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Now that the Texas School Directory has the official and legal capacity to fundraise as a 501(c)(3), the founders plan to turn their concept website ( into a fully-interactive directory of Texas school data covering the more than 8,763 campuses, 1,207 school districts, and 232 distinct Texas legislative districts. 

Once the full website is funded and operational, The Texas School Directory team plans to operate physical locations to work directly with parents and community members in order to help them use the data to understand what programs and environments their local Texas public schools offer.

Upcoming Events

Summer 2017 Graduate Fellow Farewell Reception (D.C.)

When: Wednesday, August 2, 2017, from 6 - 8 p.m.
Where: 10 Tavern (707 G Street NW, 2nd Floor, Washington, D.C., 20001)
Please contact Steve Alvarez with any questions.

Spring 2018 Archer Fellow Summer Orientation Reception (Austin)

When: Thursday, August 17, 2017, from 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Where: Byrne-Reed House (1410 Rio Grande Street, Austin, Texas)
Join next spring's Archer Fellows for appetizers in this historic home!  For more information, please contact Cassie Saenz.

2017 Archer Center Campus Coordinator Conference (D.C.)

The Archer Center's 2017 Campus Coordinator Conference will take place October 8 – 10, 2017, in Washington, D.C. We invite campus coordinators and campus supporters to join us in collaboration and discussion about the Archer Fellowship Program and Graduate Program in Public Policy. For more information, please email Christine Anderson

Alumni Association News

Alumni: Updates Needed for August Newsletter

Each August, the Archer Center Spotlight will feature the law, medical school and graduate program acceptances of the members of the Archer Fellow Alumni Association for the respective academic year as well as those entering into competitive public service programs such as the Teach for America Corps and the Peace Corps. Thank you to the alumni who have apprised us of their plans for the fall. Likewise, if you have a new job or have received an award, scholarship, or fellowship, we want to hear from you! Please update your information by visiting the Archer Fellow Alumni Association online update page or send an update to

Alumni Highlights

Archer Fellow alumni continue to do amazing things! Check out a few highlights below. 

Bianca Rosales (Spring 2016) received the "Mujeres con la Falda Bien Puesta" award from P&G Orgulloso at the LULAC National Convention. 

Zack C. Hall (Fall 2008) was the recipient of the Dallas Business Journal's 40 Under 40 Award for his leadership in education.

Our alumni serve in so many ways! Fall 2006 Archer Fellow Lelia Gowland helps empower women in the workplace. Click here to watch the video!

In Other News

Archer Fellows in the News

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UT Health) School of Public Health featured five students selected for Archer Center's Graduate Program online

Current Archer Fellow Megan Haffey wrote a blog post about her experience in Washington, D.C., with the Archer Fellowship Program entitled, “The Time I Took a Leap of Faith and Landed in Washington, D.C.”

Got Internships?

Do you have an internship opportunity in your office in the D.C. area for the fall semester? We are continually seeking new, substantive opportunities for our Archer Fellows. Please contact the Archer Center staff with suggestions or ideas!  
The Archer Center is a self-supporting center that enables students from across the state of Texas to take advantage of academic and internship opportunities in Washington, D.C. Giving to the Archer Center helps students from all UT System campuses pursue their academic, personal, and professional goals.
Donate to The Archer Center
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